When do Alcohol Cravings go Away?

Choosing sobriety is a brave decision that comes with challenges. In the early days of sobriety, you are likely to face cravings that can seem unbearable. When you’re in the thick of this, one of the most common questions is “When do alcohol cravings go away?”

Knowing about alcohol cravings and their timeline will help to reassure you that things will get better.

Dealing with Intense Cravings in the Beginning

In the very earliest days of sobriety when you are detoxing, facing intense alcohol cravings is normal. The body and mind are adjusting, and the absence of alcohol can trigger strong desires. When do alcohol cravings go away during this phase? This usually happens when you are a couple of weeks in, and are out of the acute phase of withdrawal.

Signs of Improvement in the Early Weeks

As you progress into the early weeks of sobriety, there’s a noticeable reduction in the frequency and intensity of alcohol cravings. The brain chemistry is rebalancing and the body is healing. While cravings may still occur, they become less overwhelming. Building support, adopting healthy habits, and seeking professional guidance help manage and reduce cravings.

Gaining Control Month by Month

While cravings will have reduced significantly, many people who had strong alcohol addictions find that cravings persist during this stage. These cravings are exacerbated by Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS), which can cause a host of symptoms including depression and anxiety.

Be aware that the symptoms you are feeling will pass. If you were heavily addicted to alcohol for many years, it can take up to 2 years for PAWS to completely disappear.

Therapy, support groups, and coping mechanisms can empower you to navigate triggers and cravings during this stage. So, when do alcohol cravings go away for good? Achieving freedom from cravings is a gradual process that varies for each person.

For some people, cravings vanish in the first couple of months, other people may experience some cravings for years into sobriety. The key is to not give in to these cravings, as doing this is likely to intensify cravings in the future.

Factors That Affect How Long Alcohol Cravings Last

Now that we’ve discussed when alcohol cravings might go away, let’s explore the factors that influence how long you might experience these cravings.

Duration and Intensity of Alcohol Use

How long and how intensely you’ve been consuming alcohol are crucial factors in determining the duration of cravings. People with a lengthier and more intense history of alcohol abuse may face a more extended recovery timeline.

Mental and Physical Health

Your overall mental and physical health significantly impacts the journey to reduce alcohol cravings. Prioritizing self-care, engaging in therapy, and adopting a healthy lifestyle contribute to a smoother recovery process. Taking a holistic approach that addresses mental and physical well-being enhances the chances of managing and minimizing cravings.

Support System

The strength of your support system is crucial. People who are surrounded by understanding friends, supportive family members, and empathetic professionals find it more manageable to overcome the challenges associated with cravings. A robust support network provides encouragement, understanding, and assistance throughout your alcohol recovery journey.

Coping Strategies for Managing Cravings

There are ways that you can deal with cravings so you will be less likely to give in to taking a drink again. Here are some of those strategies.

Distraction Techniques

When you’re feeling cravings, engage yourself in another activity to take your mind off them. Engaging in exercise can be particularly beneficial for some people, as it makes you feel good, which can help reduce cravings.

Practice Surfing Cravings

Craving surfing starts with being mindfully aware. Instead of resisting cravings, instead observe your present moment, including sensations, thoughts, and emotions related to the craving.

Once you are aware of the craving, the next step is to “ride the wave.” Allow the craving to be present without acting on it. Like waves, cravings rise and fall. By staying non-reactive, you can observe the craving’s natural ebb and flow, often without feeling compelled to act. Over time, you learn that you can feel cravings without giving in.

Speak With an Understanding Person

Having someone you can call when you are craving alcohol is vital to be able to successfully navigate cravings. You should choose someone who understands what you are going through. Ideally, get the support of someone who has been through substance cravings themselves, and can talk you out of your ideas of drinking.

Therapeutic Interventions:

Incorporating therapeutic interventions into your recovery journey provides valuable tools to address the root causes of cravings. Therapy gives you a supportive environment where you can explore and understand the factors contributing to your cravings. These interventions equip you with coping mechanisms for effectively managing and reducing alcohol cravings over time.

Reduce Alcohol Cravings With Sobriety and Wellbeing

Sobriety and Wellbeing provides support for all people going through alcohol cravings. In the earliest stages of recovery, we offer people in withdrawal a home service designed to detox you from alcohol, while providing support and guidance every step of the way.

If you are already sober and need help with alcohol cravings, we can assign you one of our team of alcohol addiction professionals, who will work with you to identify and reduce your cravings.

For more information on how we can help you deal with alcohol cravings in your life, contact us today on 0800 002 5397.